Whistler Village Beer Festival offers smorgasbord of suds, food, and fun

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      (This article is sponsored by the .)

      It will be a hoppy and delectable fifth anniversary for ticketholders to the , which runs from September 13 to 17. That’s because anyone who enters the Main Event in Whistler’s Olympic Plaza on Saturday (September 16) will get in for free on Sunday, too.

      This year, 60 breweries will be participating and there will be over 120 different varieties of beers and ciders. And to celebrate the fifth anniversary, there will be five different food options—four food trucks and a barbecue—for the thousands of craft beer aficionados and festival lovers who descend on the village in the third weekend of September.

      They’ll be treated to a smorgasbord of savory suds at the festival, which is put on by Gibbons Whistler.

      “It’s a two-day weekend Main Event and three days of peripheral programming at partner venues throughout Whistler—and beyond to Squamish now, as well,” says festival organizer Tara Myers. “We’ll be offering everything from beer yoga and axe throwing to fine dining and brewery favourite ‘Master Crafters: Battle of the Sours’, which will see choice breweries battle it out in a blind tasting test to determine whose sour beer reigns supreme, as voted on by the public.”

      During the September 16-17 weekend, the north section of Whistler Village will come alive to the sounds of six live bands and two DJs for all festivalgoers to enjoy. The focus will be on Whistler talent, who will perform in a giant amphitheatre at the base of two of the country’s most spectacular mountains.

      “There’s a nice big stage, which is awesome,” Myers exclaims. “We basically take over this area of the village.”

      In the past, winning beers have been selected by popular vote. Last year, a local newbie—Coast Mountain Brewing—triumphed, followed by Okanagan Spring and Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks.

      This year, there’s still a people’s choice award, but the top three beverages will be chosen more scientifically—by the weight of redeemed tokens over the two-day main event.

      “A big part of why the breweries like this festival is because they have opportunities to win draft contracts in Whistler,” Myers says.

      Craft operations in the Sea to Sky Corridor, such as A-Frame Brewing Company and Whistler Brewing Co., will be on-site, as well as a wide range of other breweries based in the Lower Mainland and other parts of B.C. The list includes Fernie Brewing Co., Central City Brewers & Distillers, Callister Brewing Co., Bowen Island Brewing, Bomber Brewing, and more.

      Those who want to party hearty and not drive are being invited to take a new shuttle service provided through Canadian Craft Tours. It will transport festivalgoers from North Vancouver and Squamish to and from the Whistler Village Beer Festival. The shuttle service will cost $25 round trip from Squamish and $50 from North Van on September 16 and 17. 

      “We’re also working with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb on some accommodation deals to try to make it as easy as possible to come and enjoy everything Whistler has to offer, including our festival.” Myers says.

      The growing popularity of the Whistler Village Beer Festival is yet another sign that locally brewed craft products have captured the imagination of the public.

      “We also throw the Great Okanagan Beer Festival that happens every May in Kelowna,” Myers says. “And we’re looking to add some new ones in 2018 – make sure you stay tuned by following us on for the latest updates.”

      Whistler Village Beer Festival tickets and the full event schedule now are available on wvbf.ca, along with more information on the shuttle and accommodation deals. For a limited time, Georgia Straight readers can save 15% off Saturday Flex passes with promo code GEORGIASTRAIGHT.

       (This article is sponsored by the .)